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Tom Kay on Making Room for Rivers – Nelson

June 14 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, the way we live with our rivers is at the front of many people’s minds. While it is difficult to discuss for many people, having a conversation now about the future of river management and flood protection in our region is the only way we can minimise impacts on our communities in the future.

Forest & Bird’s Freshwater Advocate, Tom Kay will be talking about how the way we have managed our environment has exacerbated flooding and disaster risk, the impact of flood protection engineering on our rivers and communities, and the approach we could be taking instead.

Tom Kay grew up in Hawke’s Bay but now lives in Wellington with his partner, where he works as Forest & Bird’s Freshwater Advocate.

Tom developed a keen passion for rivers whitewater kayaking on the Mohaka River throughout his childhood and continues to kayak around Aotearoa. Tom has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Master of Science in Ecology from Massey University in Palmerston North – where his MSc research focused on measuring changes in river habitat over time.

Tom has worked at Forest & Bird for the better part of six years and has also worked briefly as a Policy Advisor at an environmental consultancy, as a field team member in a predator control R&D organisation, and as a raft guide.

Tom’s current interest is figuring out how to get decision-makers and policy-writers to protect the natural character and habitat of rivers, and make ‘room for rivers’, rather than just focus on water quality, quantity, and flood protection engineering.


June 14
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Tahunanui School
69 Muritai Street
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